Mike McMaster, Replying to LO3098, said:
>Of course they don't see self organisation. They grew up in a
>different world. However, I find that they can see self organisation
>when not only given the story of it but when they're helped to see
>that it was happening all along - and was screwed up by a system of
>some other kind.
>Of course you have to be "hard against the hardliners". But the
>reason isn't apparent from your writing. You have to be hard because
>that's the way they understand the world. You might call it an issue
>of rapport rather than anything else. Being "hard" doesn't *mean*
>anything, it's just a part of what it takes. Being "soft" and loving
>them is the larger context in which being "hard" needs to occur.
>In dealing with tough kids, there's a phrase in some circles called
>"tough love". It works when the context is love and the
>communication is tough. It doesn't work when the context is tough
>and the communication attempts to be love.
In my opinion, this coin has two sides. There is the side Mike is
speaking of here, which is that paternalism is a mode generated by the
culture in which one learns, and that it can be, and often is, loving--
even in a work environment.
There is also the other side, the dark side, in which the culture that
imbues and supports paternalism is a culture of private property, in which
natural human feelings are often corrupted by what Marx called "the cash
nexus." Very often that is the spur that drive the search for, and the
exercise of, authority. It is the paternalism of the slave owner, which
lingers deeply on this side of the water, the paternalism of the colonial
administrator which is more embedded Thames-side where Mike currently
resides. And it ain't good.
Of course, the lines are not sharp and clean, especially when racism
enters the mix, and for that reason I always perceive this particular
"coin" as resting on its edge.
[Note to Rick: I know this drifts a bit afield, and I apologize for that,
but I can't help feeling that in some ways it touches on the core of
everything we are speaking of here...]
[Host's Note: I decided to leave Jack's note in the message as
-- Jack Hirschfeld With the clear undertanding that firstname.lastname@example.org this kind of thing can happen, shall we dance?